Published on January 15th, 2013 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
AIM and Volvo Trucks Malaysia JV to reduce crashes between Trucks and Motorcycles
No innovative device will help. No education will assist. The solution is better enforcement. This has been and will continue to be a serious problem in Malaysia as there are many motorcyclists that do now have a riding license and have very bad riding attitude. Big bike riders on the other hand have proper riding etiquette and that is because they have been trained to ride properly. Just visit Gombak, Bangsar South/Kerinchi and Kampung Medan and you will see many riders with no helmet and 3 or more persons on a bike riding around.
Road traffic injuries are one of the fastest growing epidemics across the world. Over 1.2 million people die every year on the roads worldwide with 20 – 50 million suffering from non-fatal injuries. In most regions of the world especially South East Asia, road traffic casualties are still on the rise (Source: World Health Organization, 2009).
As part of Volvo Trucks’ continuous effort towards road safety across the world, the Swedish truck has partnered with Agensi Inovasi Malaysia to launch an initiative that aims to find innovative solutions to make Malaysian roads safer for motorcycles and trucks.
The initiative, Innovative Solutions to Reduce Crashes between Trucks and Motorcycles or iSTREC: Trucks and Motorcycles in short, was inaugurated on the 15th of January 2013 at Volvo Malaysia’s headquarters in Shah Alam. The signing ceremony was witnessed and officiated by His Excellency Mr. Bengt G Carlsson, Ambassador of Sweden to Malaysia. Also present at the inauguration were other Malaysian and Swedish organizations that are a part of this initiative – the Swedish Trade Council (STC), University Putra Malaysia (UPM), Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (MIROS) and SAFER – Vehicle and Traffic Safety Centre, Sweden.
A study by MIROS and Hospital Kuala Lumpur Forensic Department on fatal crashes involving motorcyclist revealed that in terms of vehicle type involved in crash, commercial vehicles accounted 32% of total number of crashes followed by single vehicle crashes (28%) and passenger car (23%). Collision with heavy vehicle subgroup suffered substantially more severe injuries as opposed to single vehicle accident and others. The study also revealed that there was a substantially high crash of sideswipe and rear end collision involving heavy vehicle and motorcyclist.
The relative death risk for motorcyclists is higher than for passenger cars due to substantial differences in vehicle mass, degree of protection, and speed. These differences are particularly notable for the collision between a motorcycle and a truck.
Additionally, it has been observed that drivers’ attitudes toward motorcyclists, empathic attitudes, awareness of perceptual problems in detecting motorcycles, and spatial understanding of motorcycles are also important factors that influence how car drivers interact with motorcycles. However, due to differences in driving competency requirements and purposes of travelling, the attitudes of truck drivers towards motorcyclists may be different than car drivers.
iSTREC: Trucks and Motorcycles aims to address this challenge by primary and secondary research followed by a nationwide awareness programme through traditional and modern tools to reach a wide number of truck drivers and motorcyclists.
The collaboration aims to bring together Malaysian and Swedish corporate bodies and agencies for technology and best practice exchange across both nations. The initiative will be divided into two stages and will be implemented throughout the year.
The first stage will be carried out over the course of the next six months. It involves primary and secondary research to develop innovative solutions for the challenges presented in the form of truck and motorcycle clashes. The second stage involves the implementation of the developed innovative solution and a nationwide awareness programme. The initiative also aims to boost the exchange of technology and information between both countries and to support the Malaysian government to reduce the number of road casualties in the country.
Commenting on the research initiative, His Excellency Mr. Bengt G Carlsson, Ambassador of Sweden to Malaysia said, “With Sweden being the leading country to record the lowest number of road fatalities since its implementation of Vision Zero, we are glad to be a part of this initiative and help Malaysia implement some of our learnings. Historically, we have shared a healthy diplomatic relationship with the country and the time has come for us to work together for the greater good of our peoples.”